Arkansas Schools To Get Panic Button App
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Starting in September all public schools in Arkansas will receive access to a "panic button" app for use during emergencies. The software is
being provided by Rave Mobile Safety for teachers and staff to download onto
their smart phones. In the event that they need to contact public safety personnel, they'll be able to use the program to communicate with the
state's Smart 911 system.
The adoption of the panic button technology was instigated by a "School Safety Act" bill that modified the state education code to require the alerting system "if funding is available."
The implementation is actually being funded by the state Department of Education.
"We felt it imperative to put a solution like this in place to protect the students, teachers and administrators across the entire Arkansas
public school system every day," said Commissioner Johnny Key. "Having the ability to instantaneously connect teachers and school
administrators with 9-1-1 and other emergency personnel will give us, and Arkansas parents, a much greater sense of confidence as we begin a
new school year."
The idea of the panic button app is to allow users to communicate quickly with first responders and other school personnel in the event of a
crisis. A five-icon interface connects the user with the appropriate agency depending on the type of emergency — active shooter, fire, medical,
police and "other" — and notifies on-site staff of the location and nature of the incident. Dispatchers receiving the contact get pre-loaded
data such as the caller's exact location, floor plans, emergency exit locations and emergency contacts.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.